Because of the attack on Lawrence and in an effort to cut the guerillas and the Rangers off from their supporters, General Thomas Ewing issued his infamous Order #11. This order forced all residents in Cass and Bates counties and parts of Vernon and Jackson counties to vacate their homes within fifteen days. (See article on Order #11). All grain, hay and food supplies were confiscated by Union troops and all homes and outbuildings were burned to the ground. These counties became known as "The Burnt District." Basically, this order was a "license to kill" for the Union army and they ravished these counties, burning everything in site and killing the men and young boys whom they suspected to be Southern Sympathizers. Woman and children were often left with nothing but the clothing on their backs and had to travel great distances to find a safe haven. Many died of starvation and exposure while in route. This action was unique during the Civil War in that it was specifically directed against a civilian population. It affected more than 20,000 individuals. It would be years before many of these families would be able to return home. When they did return home, they returned to burnt out structures and desolate land.